The United States is lurching towards an epic financial catastrophe. This isn’t a novel insight. The great tragedy has been in the works for decades. Anyone with a mild inkling of curiosity knows what’s going on.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population clock, the U.S. population is over 334 million. This, no doubt, is a lot of mouths to feed and people to clothe and shelter. But that’s not all.
Many of these people also need some sort of medical care throughout the year. Some may break their arm. Others may have their appendix burst or suffer cardiac arrest. There are also serious medical emergencies from car accidents or other hazards.
In an economy characterized by limited government and individual liberty people are self-supporting. They provide the means to pay for these needs through the fruits of their own labors. Minors are supported by their families until they can provide for themselves. The elderly may fall back on their kids if they didn’t squirrel away enough nuts during their working years.
In an economy characterized by central planning this is not the case. Large segments of the population are dependent on government programs for their daily bread. They also look to the benevolent hand of government to pay for their drugs and other medical needs.
The U.S., over the last 100 years, has transformed from a nation of self-supporting individuals to a nation of collective dependents. In fact, the U.S., at this very moment, is closing in on a significant milestone.
Several days before the Ides of March, 100 million people – or approximately 30 percent of the total population – will be on Medicaid. Can you believe it?
An outfit out of Naples, Florida, called the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), even has a special website with a countdown clock so you can monitor precisely when this magical moment arrives. The FGA is forecasting that Medicaid enrollment will hit the 100 million mark sometime between the late evening of March 12 and early morning of March 13.
Will you pop a bottle of bubbly and toast this momentous accomplishment?
The actual significance of 100 million is found primarily in the number itself. It’s big. And round. It offers a unique opportunity to pause and contemplate the madness of what’s been erected.
How is it that 100 million Americans ended up on Medicaid? Could it be that the entire Country will one day be ensnared by this program’s wide casted nets? What happens to the quality of medical care when payments for services rendered are diverted through an ultra-mega government program?
Politicians, by and large, are enamored by transfer payment programs. The more idealistic of the lot may believe that through their programs of forced philanthropy they’re making the world a better place. Others just get a thrill out of employing central planning to control the masses.
“The way to Hell is paved with good intentions,” remarked Karl Marx in Das Kapital. The devious fellow was bemoaning evil capitalists for having the audacity to use their own money for the purpose of making more money.
Marx, a wordy busybody, was consistently wrong. The road to hell is paved with plenty more than good intentions. Grift, graft, larceny, corruption, and fake money all compose the pavement. Good intentions are simply sprinkled on top to improve the aesthetic.
Perhaps Medicaid, when it was first created under the Social Security Amendments of 1965, was established with good intentions. Who, but a complete Scrooge, could possibly be against providing medical aid to low-income residents?
But what you may not know is that Medicaid, in its current form, is an absolute government scam. Strings from the coronavirus fiasco have been attached to the program, which places state governments at the mercy of the federal government. The FGA offers the following details:
“The sharp rise in enrollment is largely due to the federal government’s continued extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency which locks states in ‘Medicaid Handcuffs.’ While the emergency is in effect, states receive extra Medicaid funding on the condition that everyone enrolled remains locked into the program. This has led to an additional 24 million enrollees, more than 21 million of whom would previously not have qualified because they earn too much money or are otherwise ineligible.”
The price tag for these 21 million otherwise ineligible Medicaid enrollees comes to $16 billion per month – or $192 billion per year. The taxpayer – that’s you – foots the bill.
As perspective, to better understand how many ineligible people 21 million represents let’s look to Florida. The population of Florida, the third largest state in the Country, is 22 million. So, the equivalent of nearly the entire population of Florida, is illegitimately on Medicaid.
Think about that on Monday morning when you rise at the crack of dawn to start up your daily grind once again. Think about that the next time you peruse your paycheck and see the massive federal income tax deduction being confiscated.
How many other government scams are you working to pay for?
The actual costs of the scam portion of Medicaid are much, much more than $16 billion per month. As the FGA notes, as welfare enrollment – including Medicaid enrollment – increases, workforce participation decreases. So, the ability of the U.S. economy to pay for Medicaid and other government scams is diminished.
Yet the madness continues. Washington policies are handcuffing people to dependency who are entirely ineligible for the programs they’re dependent on. What’s more, they’re doing this at the worst possible time.
Will You Beat Uncle Sam’s Relentless Pursuit of Your Wealth?
Presently, the U.S. national debt is over $31.4 trillion. Factor in unfunded liabilities – such as social security, Medicare parts A, B, and D, federal debt held by the public, and federal employee and veteran benefits – and the number jumps to $173.5 trillion. That comes to over $519,000 per citizen.
These debts won’t magically disappear. However, they won’t be directly paid either. Simple arithmetic doesn’t allow it. But they will be paid, nonetheless.
You’ll pay with your time and your talents. You’ll pay with a declining standard of living. In fact, you already are.
This week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest inflation data. According to the government’s aggregate data manufacturers, consumer prices, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), increased at an annual rate in December of 6.5 percent. After peaking in June 2022 at 9.1 percent, the rate of inflation has steadily slowed.
Should you be happy that you’re only being robbed of 6.5 percent of your savings per year instead of 9.1 percent?
Remember, at an ‘official’ inflation rate of 6.5 percent it only takes 11 years for the purchasing power of your savings to be cut in half. And 11 years is only about one-fourth of a person’s working years. In other words, over the duration of a person’s working life their earnings will be cut in half at least four times.
Wage and salary increases may soften the blow. But they won’t keep pace with government sponsored inflation. In truth, real wages have declined for 21-months in a row.
And what about after retirement when employment income disappears? In this regard, a retiree should expect the purchasing power of their savings to be cut in half at least once – possibly twice.
This, in essence, is how you’ll pay for Washington’s massive debts and unfunded liabilities. The Medicaid scam is but one example of the servitude you’re indentured to.
By this, saving and investing your income and wealth has never been more important. With hard work, diligence, unending perseverance, and some luck, you can maintain your independence and standard of living in the face of Uncle Sam’s relentless pursuit of your wealth.
The challenge is great. The stakes are grave.
[Editor’s note: This is a very challenging time for investors. Inflation. Deflation. Recession. The dangers are prominent. However, it’s also the genesis of the next great wave of wealth over the next decade. And we intend to ride it all the way. If this interests you, take a gander at my Financial First Aid Kit. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to know to prosper and protect your privacy as the global economy slips into a worldwide depression.]
for Economic Prism